Geoid Model of Tanzania from Sparse and Varying Gravity Data Density by the KTH method

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: Developed countries are striving to achieve a cm geoid model. Most developing countries/regions think that the situation in their areas does not allow even a few decimetre geoid model. GNSS, which provides us with position, is one of the greatest achievements of the present time. Conversion of ellipsoidal height to orthometric height, which is more useful, requires an accurate geoid model. In spite of the sparse terrestrial gravity data of variable density, distribution and quality (a typical situation in developing countries), this study set out to develop as accurately as possibly achievable, a high quality geoid model of Tanzania. Literature review of three more preferred geoid methods came to a conclusion, that the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden (KTH) method of least squares modification of Stokes formula (LSMS) with additive corrections (AC) is the most suitable for this research. However, even with a good method, the accuracy and the quality of a geoid model depend much on the quality of the data. In this study, a procedure to create a gravity database (GDB) out of sparse data with varying density, distribution and quality has been developed. This GDB is of high density and full coverage, which ensures presence of high and low gravity frequencies, with medium frequencies ranging between fair and excellent. Also an alternative local/regional Global Gravitational Model (GGM) validation method based on quality terrestrial point surface gravity anomaly has been developed. Validation of a GGM using the new approach of terrestrial point gravity and GPS/Levelling, gave the same results. Once satisfactorily proved, the method has extra advantages. The limits of Tanzania GDB (TGDB) are latitudes 15 ° S to 4 ° N and longitudes 26 ° E to 44 ° E . Cleaning and quality control of the TGDB was based on the cross validation (XV) by the Kriging method and Gaussian distribution of the XV residuals. The data used in the LSMS with AC to develop a new Tanzania gravimetric geoid model 2008, TZG08, are 1′ ×1′ clean and statistically tested surface gravity anomalies. 39,677 point gravity in land and 57,723 in the ocean were utilised. Pure satellite ITGGRACE03S GGM to degree 120 was used to determine modification parameters and long-wavelength component of the geoid model. 3′′ Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM) Digital Elevation Model (DEM), ITG-GRACE03S to degree 120 and EIGENCG03C to degree 360 combined GGM qualified to patch the data voids in accordance to the method of this research. TZG08 is referred to Geodetic Reference System 1980 (GRS80), and its extents are latitudes 12 ° S to 1 ° N and longitudes 29 ° E to 41 ° E . 19 GPS/levelling points qualified to assess the overall accuracy of TZG08 as 29.7 cm, and upon approximate removal of GPS and orthometric systematic effects, the accuracy of TZG08 is 27.8 cm. A corrector surface (CS) for conversion of GPS height to orthometric height referred to Tanzania National Height Datum (TNHD) has been created for a part of TZG08. Using the CS and TZG08, orthometric height of Mt. Kilimanjaro is re-established as it was in 1952 to be 5,895 m above the TNHD, which is still the official height of the mountain.

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